Marshawn Lynch Gives the Media His Version of the Quiet Storm

(fresnobee.com)

Marshawn Lynch gave the media an earful by saying almost nothing.

In three plus seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Marshawn Lynch learned the hard lessons that come with celebrity status. Not only are your mistakes magnified, but they will haunt you if you aren’t careful. As a young man dealing with unlimited finances and free time, Lynch put himself in some unfavorable situations. Ironically, the people who had the most to say knew Lynch the least.

The Buffalo and national media took their perception of Lynch and ran with the same disregard the five-time Pro Bowl running back has for would be tacklers.

Lynch has found peace in Seattle since his arrival in 2010 and while the media has been willing to forgive and forget one man’s past transgressions, he’s not as open to the idea.

During the social uprisings in the aftermath of the murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, several Black Athletes protested the verdicts that allowed their killers to go free. The sentiment of many in the American press was the same as it’s always been toward Black Athletes, “just shut up and play”.

That’s all Marshawn Lynch has been trying to do as the Seahawks made their way through the postseason and into the Super Bowl, but league mandate required Lynch speak with the media or face a fine.

Lynch has complied with league rules, despite repeating, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” twenty-nine times to open media day for Super Bowl XLIX. Since the NFL couldn’t fine Lynch for not speaking, word spread that he could face a fine for wearing his “Beast Mode” cap which is not recognized by the NFL during Super Bowl week.

Seven years ago, former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined $100,000 for wearing a promotional cap during media day for Super Bowl XLI. The cap was a promotion for Vitamin Water, the NFL’s authorized drink is Gatorade.

In the sessions that followed, the media continued to prod Lynch, who responded with everything from, “You know why I’m here” to “Shout out to my real Africans out there”.

On the media’s last day, the man who powers himself on Skittles left a bitter taste in the mouths of those intent on breaking him.

“All week. I done told you all what’s up and, for some reason, you all continue to come back and do the same thing you all did,” said Lynch. “I don’t know what all story you’re trying to get out of me. I don’t know what image you’re all trying to portray of me. But it don’t matter what you all think, what you all say about me, because when I go home at night, the same people that I look in the face, my family, that I love, that’s all that really matter to me.

“So you all can go and make up whatever you want to make up, because I don’t say enough for you all to go put anything out on me,” Lynch continued. “But, I’ll come to you all event. You all shove cameras and microphones down my throat, but when I’m at home in my environment. I don’t see you all, but you all mad at me. And if you aren’t mad at me, then what you all here for?”

Marshawn Lynch sounds like a man who has not forgotten where he comes from and most recently where he’s been. Society is quick to tell African-Americans to forget about being wronged and move on. Forgive and forget is what most have expected Lynch to do, how easy is that when you look out into a sea of recorders and holding them are the hands of those whose words nearly choked out your career. Faces, name tags and publications whose sole intent was to paint you in a bad light without knowing you past, but predicting your future. Even after Lynch was dealt to Seattle, there were no well wishers in the media, many would rather see Lynch crash and burn and not land on his feet.

The most angering element is the African-American journalist who doesn’t get where Lynch is coming from. A prime example is ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who wished Lynch was fined up to $20,000 a day because he doesn’t give the media “a story”. There are those who feel Lynch should talk to them because they have the same skin color and don’t deserve to be lumped in with white journalists. Ask Lynch, a Oakland native or any other African-American male if he’s more trusting of an African-American police officer or a white officer and I guarantee 80 percent of the answers will be “neither”. Why? Because sometimes who you represent trumps skin color. In some cases toting a pen and pad can have the same effect as a 12-gauge shotgun. I’ve heard statements like, “he needs to hire a publicist because he’s not very articulate” to “he has a phobia of the media”. Lynch has read more negative press clippings about himself than any of us, who am I to tell him how he should feel towards the media? Hell, I’d be walking on eggshells too.

Coming from a single parent home, I’m sure Lynch has heard more times than he can remember how he would amount to nothing — let alone make it out of Oakland. After clearing that hurdle he makes it to the NFL, but runs into trouble by his own doing and is automatically typecast. Lynch had to see his way through his own storm and like one of his signature runs, he finds daylight after getting bounced around amid darkness.

Marshawn Lynch is looking at a monster deal that will keep him in Seattle for the rest of his career because he was able to get out of his own way. If he’s able to lead the Seahawks to their second consecutive Vince Lombardi Trophy, I suggest the media do the same.

One Response to “Marshawn Lynch Gives the Media His Version of the Quiet Storm”

  1. publius africanus says:

    That had to be one of the worst playcalls I have ever seen. Period. They ought to play that scene from “The Blind Side” wher Sandra Bullock calls the coach and tells him to “Run the Dang Ball!” on a loop on talk radio in Seattle tomorrow.